Posted by psgels on 26 September 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews

During the past Summer season, the thing that I disliked the most was AIC. They did come out with four new series, but they were. all. moe. anime. And not even the good ones, like Geijutsuka Art Design Class; all four of them were completely underwhelming, had no idea how to use their time correctly or how to tell a story for that matter. Asobi ni Iku Yo at least set itself apart from the others by showing that it at least somewhat knew what it wanted to do.

It just threw all pretense out: it’s a harem with a lot of guns and aliens, and just tried to make something enjoyable out of it. This worked… somewhat. Asobi ni Iku Yo has its enjoyable moments, but they’re too few and far in between for a series that only has twelve episodes. This series is at its best when it doesn’t try to be anything. It’s a bit corny, but the slice of life moments of this series work well enough. On top of them, the action scenes themselves are also pretty enjoyable. It’s what’s in between that’s really the problem.

The story is interesting, and has a few neat ideas here and there, like the whole concept of aliens with cat ears coming to earth in order to establish diplomatic relationships, but most of it is just predictable fodder, including a number of very badly inspired bad guys who fail to create any kind of tension. The big problem here is that the series spends way too much of its time on pointless exposition that never really goes anywhere. This series only has twelve episodes, and way too often it just fails to entertain because it somehow found the need to explain another boring detail in the bad guys’ plans.It doesn’t seem to realize that neither its premise nor its characters can carry a serious plot.

As for the characters, they’re better than your usual harem, especially compared to AIC’s other series this season. Characters at least talk sensibly without trying to be too cute, and that’s something I could appreciate (and this is also what made me able to watch it all the way through). There is a decent chemistry between them, but they’re still riddled with problems. There is hardly any character-development, and due to the above-mentioned tendency of this series to waste its time on its plot, they really could have been fleshed out more. The worst is the love triangle that develops, though. Kio, the lead male is dense beyond belief (again, very original), which completely goes against any kind of development that could have made this series better. The romance here is just there to insert pointless drama, and the way it gets resolved made me bang my head on my desk. I mean, I know that I should be glad that a series for once resolves its love triangles and stuff, but the way in which this series does it is a total Deus ex Machina insult.

Overall, would I recommend marathoning this series? No, there are many better series out there. This series fails to see what it’s good at and instead wastes too much time on its story and drama, which both don’t really accomplish anything. Add that to its silly and cliched premise, and you have a series that everyone will have forgotten in about half a year.

Storytelling: 6/10 – Poorly balanced, too much exposition for a series that’s supposed to be fun and light-hearted.
Characters: 7/10 – Characters are not stupid and obnoxiuos, I at least praise this series for that because it’s the only AIC series this season to avoid this pitfall. They also fail to stand out and the drama between them sucks.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Solid, hardly any bad frames.
Setting: 7/10 – There are a few neat ideas, but overall it’s underutilized.

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ouki
Mahou Tsukai Tai

2 Responses

  1. Avatar DP says:

    Couldn’t disagree more. One of the top three best series of the season, very much in the same sort of tradition as BIRDY DECODE.

    Good action, and the “boring” exposition was actually an interesting science fiction background that went one better than Star Trek by showing how that level of technology might actually be used by a species that used it.

    It also contained several subtle but interesting references to literary western science fiction as an added bonus, an interesting meditation on AI, and amusing parodies of otaku conventions.

    Great series.

  2. Avatar skchai says:

    Don’t know what to say. The first few episodes promise in-anime parody, but of unusual subjects (the first contact cult who think Elis is too much like an Akiba character to deserve being the “first”) and combinations (the girl with glasses “path” is laid out in the usual way, except she’s a super-powered assassin for hire). The knowing science fiction callouts were pretty funny, I agree with @DP. But I also agree with @Psgels that it loses its way, the jokes become more predictable and lame, and ending is just lame. Even the 2ch boards are saying things like “an elementary school boy seems to have written the last episode”.

    Blame on Takayama Katsuhiko? He did the story composition for the entire series, and has made shows like the Efs, Ga rei Zero, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien “better than they should have been”. And I guess the overall sequence was not so much the problem as the script running out of humor. Strange he gets credited for the screenplay for the first few episodes, then nobody gets credit. Can’t claim to have insight on how this happened.

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